Thursday, November 06, 2003

REALITY CHECKS
News item from The Associated Press: Mauritanian head of state Maaouiya Ould Taya arrested opposition leader Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla on the eve of the Sahel nation's presidential elections for which both men are candidates. The incumbent's campaign officials have accused Haidalla of plotting to seize power if he lost the election. Haidalla was the country's leader from 1979-1984 until he was ousted in a military coup by... Maaouiya Ould Taya.


News item from The BBC: An opposition coalition in Guinea has announced that it will boycott the West Africa country's presidential election scheduled for next month. [Guinea] will end up like Sierra Leone, Liberia or Ivory Coast because if we cannot discuss with the man in power, we will fight him the way he wants threatened opposition leader Ba Mamadou, who insisted he was referring to street protests, not armed insurrection. The opposition insists the vote has already been rigged in favor of the incumbent head of state, Gen. Lansana Conte and that the party in power has blocked the opposition's access to the state media (the European Union concurring with the latter assertion). For his part, the Gen. Conte warned I will never accept that someone comes to power by force. Those who want power will have to wait until the elections and contest it under the banner of a political party. The head of state came to power in a 1984 military coup that overthrew a civilian regime whose members were thrown in prison.

News item from CNN. President Bush signed a controversial bill that would ban partial birth abortions. In remarks at the signing ceremony, the president said he hoped to "build a culture of life." "This right to life cannot be granted or denied by government, because it does not come from government -- it comes from the creator of life," added the president, who was once governor of the state that habitually murders (denies life to) far more of its citizens than any other state.

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